Paper will remain free but Daily Sun to begin offering fee-based home delivery service

LACONIA – Early-morning home delivery of a local daily newspaper will once again be available in the Lakes Region area under a program being introduced by The Laconia Daily Sun.
Beginning tomorrow The Daily Sun will begin taking subscriptions for home delivery in the 16 communities where the paper is distributed, Sun Publisher Adam Hirshan, and Ed Engler, the paper's president and editor, announced earlier this week.
"Now that (the) Laconia (area) doesn't have a home delivered paper, we feel it is an excellent time to offer this service to our readers," Hirshan said.
The Daily Sun is offering the home delivery service through a contract with the Concord Monitor, which this week began distributing the Sun. One immediate effect of that partnership is that the newspaper is now available at hundreds of locations earlier in the day than has often been the case in the past several years.
"The paper is now out earlier, and it will be available everywhere no later than 6:30 a.m.," Engler explained.
Starting tomorrow readers can begin signing up for home delivery by calling a special toll-free number, 1-866-665-6068. The cost for the home delivery will be $2.25 a week, starting December 3. Subscriptions will be offered for 13-, 26- and 52-week periods, Hirshan said.
Engler and Hirshan stressed that The Daily Sun remains committed to its original mission of providing comprehensive local news coverage — both in print and online — free of charge, but was now offering a home-delivery option in response to reader demand.
"The paper remains free," said Engler. "What you are paying for is the delivery service."
"We're now offering our readers the opportunity for the convenience of having the paper delivered right to their door," Hirshan added.
Readers can continue to pick up the paper free of charge at hundreds of locations, as they always have.
The partnership with the Concord Monitor allows The Daily Sun to take advantage of the Monitor's already-existing newspaper delivery routes throughout the region. As a result, The Sun will now be available for the first time in Loudon, and it will be available in more places in Moultonborough than has been the case up until now. In addition, there are plans to distribute The Sun to communities on the east side of Lake Winnipesaukee, including Wolfeboro, in the future.
The Laconia Daily Sun began publishing in June 2000. At the beginning it printed 2,000 copies a day. Its readership has increased several-fold over the years, and today The Sun prints 18,000 copies Tuesdays through Saturdays. In addition about 2,000 people view the online version of the printed paper every day, said Engler.
For the past five years The Daily Sun has been printed at a large Dow Jones-owned plant in Portsmouth. Starting in January, the newspaper will be printed at the Concord Monitor plant off Interstate 93, near the Concord-Loudon line.
Hirshan said that The Daily Sun is excited about its partnership with the Monitor because of that paper's reputation for providing quality newspaper delivery service through a professionally managed circulation system. Hirshan said that the two papers are also exploring ways that they can team up to offer advertising programs to benefit both newspapers' advertising customers.
In addition to offering the opportunity to have The Daily Sun delivered to individual residences, professional offices and other businesses can also take advantage of the new delivery service to have bundles of up to 50 papers delivered for a charge of $10 a month.
Hirshan said The Daily Sun would like to sell 1,000 home delivery subscriptions in the first year.
Laconia's other local daily newspaper, the Citizen of Laconia, ceased conventional home delivery one year ago. That paper is delivered to about 1,500 subscribers via U.S. Mail, according to a recent report The Citizen filed with the U.S. Postal Service. The rest of The Citizen's circulation is through single-copy sales. The Postal Service report says The Citizen sells about 4,800 copies per day in addition to those delivered by mail.